Let the battles begin!!  Last night on The Voice, our judges, Blake, Christina, Cee Lo and Adam, began making their first cuts.  And how did they do it?  They paired members of their teams and prepared them for battle.  Yep!  There were head-to-head singing wars in the ring! And, as our Voice expert, Steve Thompson, explains, it was always music to his ears.

From Steve Thompson:

  • This is the point of this series that completely lost me as a viewer last year.  These battle rounds seem more than a bit contrived and not exactly convincing.  As good as the blind auditions are, these battle rounds are as exciting as watching presidential candidates dry.
  • The first round featured Tony Lucca (former compatriot of Christina and her fellow mouseketeer namedroppers) and Chris Cauley.  They sang the U2 anthem Beautiful Day as a duet.  I said Tony would move on before he even opened his mouth.  Chris Cauley never had a chance.
  • Next, we had Adley Stump and RaeLynn singing a duet of Free Fallin by Tom Petty.  Adley was on key and strong throughout her part while RaeLynn sounded like a Miranda clone.  Adley got hosed and Blake gets to say he couldn't fire a girl who sounded like his wife.
  • Chris Mann has an trained operatic voice and Monique Bennabou does not.  They sing a nice duet on Celine Dion's version of The Power of Love.  Chris Mann does a nice job of conveying a solid pop song and Monique seems outclassed.  Finally, I agree with someone.  Christina keeps Chris Mann.
  • Chessa and Angie Johnson sing a duet of Total Eclipse of the Heart. I was never sure here if they were going for the Bonnie Tyler version or the Nikki French version.  Angie Johnson, the girl from the Air Force who sang so well in her first audition, loses to this little waif-like girl who wasn't worthy to carry her duffel bag.  I'm beginning to wonder what these mentors are drinking.
  • Jordis Unga and Brian Fuente duet on Ironic by Alanis Morrisette.  (Speaking of ironic, using a song from one of the other mentors might qualify.)  This was a real no-brainer.  Brian Fuente was outskilled, outclassed, and outmaneuvered simply for being a male trying to sing this song.  Jordis Unga mopped the floor with the guy and had time for it to dry.  Fortunately, I agreed with Blake on this one.
  • Anthony Evans and Jesse "My wife left my daughter and me so I've obviously suffered for my craft" Campbell sang If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keyes.  I was irritated-- maybe even a bit incensed that Jesse's arrogance didn't cost him a spot on the live shows.  Anthony seemed much more genuine a singer-- but maybe that's for the best.  I doubt Jesse will do very well once an audience gets the scent of his attitude.
  • So that's what we learned from night one of the battle rounds.  We lose many of the better singers to those who are clearly less impressive.  I guess this makes a weird kind of sense.  If you get rid of some of your better singers you can push you who really want.  This just seems like it gums up the process between the two best parts of the show.

@March 5, 2012  Stephen W Thompson